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IPO48 – investing euro 10.000 in a Kenyan startup in 48 hours!

IPO48 - investing in a Kenyan startup in 48 hours!

See the IPO48 press release, published Sept. 22nd 2010

On the 29th of October a group of (mainly) Estonians will go to Kenya to create a 48 hour boot-camp event for web and mobile services. The idea for the teams participating is to create a working demo, from an idea to operating service in just 48 hours.

First let me just give you some facts about Kenya that surprise most people I speak to. Kenya has 22 mln mobile subscribers, but even more significantly they have the most successful mobile payment service, a joint venture between local mobile company Safaricom and international gigant Vodafone. Over 10 mln use this service and as a merchant, when accepting payment from your customers, you only need to pay a fee of about 5% and you have no credit risk.

To make IPO48 more fascinating compared to Garage48 and startup weekend, we will invest a minimum of €10'000 EUR in the best team right after the event.

Normally it takes quite a long time to get funding for a startup, 6-9 month is not unusual. The investors would like to follow the startup to see how it develops and also to have time to check out the team.

IPO48.com has a 14-day pre-stage, where ideas will be posted to humanipo.com. A crowdsourcing process from a number of advisors will challenge the entrepreneur and push him to look into business models and other aspects of turning the idea into a business. This transparent approach will quickly show whether the entrepreneur has the ability to sell his idea, debate it, and pick out relevant information from the process. My theory is that this gives some insight to his ability to execute the business plan.

As a next step the idea holder gathers a team. This can be done online or at the event. Again, the entrepreneur who is good at selling his idea and evaluating people will end up with the best team - stars attract stars. This is all about social skills - selling yourself and the idea is an absolute key competence for the vast majority of successful entrepreneurs.

During the event the teams are under pressure and need to make very quick decisions about the specifications of the software. This requires strong teamwork and someone who can cut through and quickly get things moving. Real leaders with the ability to perform and energize the team will stand out in this process and this should be a good indication of their capability to lead and execute.

You will be able to follow, engage and help the African teams on humanipo.com before and during the event. If you have ideas or would somehow like to participate as a online advisor or in any other capacity, feel free to contact the IPO48 team.

Check the website: IPO48

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